For a July field trip, The Ohio Young Birders Club decided to meet up at Cedar Bog State Nature Preserve, the largest calcareous fen in Ohio. John Sawvel, the OYBC Membership Coordinator led the group in search of plants, birds, butterflies and dragonflies.
Illinoian young birder and niece Sammie is currently visiting Ohio for a few weeks so we decided this would be a fun way to spend our Saturday. A few other familiar faces from the Ohio Young Birder Conference back in November showed up and we all began exploring the mile-long boardwalk through the fen.
We were lucky enough to find an Elfin Skimmer dragonfly though I was only able to get a photo of people looking at it. The Elfin Skimmer (Nannothemis bella) is in the family which contains the smallest of the dragonflies. The males are blue and the females are yellow and black. The one we found was a female.
Along the way we heard a sound explosion of multiple singing White-throated Vireos. They were singing and scolding very close to the boardwalk. Their song is fantastic and we all got an earful. Other bird highlights included Acadian Flycatcher, Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting and Eastern Towhee.
Some of the flowers blooming included Purple Cone Flower, Swamp Milkweed, and Prairie Dock. We also found Round-leaved Sundew, a small carnivorous plant.
A few Five-lined Skinks skittered under the boardwalk and someone spotted a type of salamandar. We did not find an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake this time, but I am sure we will have another visit to search for one. Cedar Bog is a unique habitat and a worthy trip.